Mashup Book Review (Goliath and In a Dark, Dark Wood)

This is a mashup book review. I read more than one book at a time regularly, but this is the first time I’ve reviewed them together, so we’ll see how this works.

In a Dark, Dark WoodIn a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bookshelves: brit-lit, chick-lit, everyone-loved-it-but-me, i-am-an-anglophile, mystery, thriller, creepy-horror-stuff

Goliath (Leviathan, #3)Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Bookshelves: abandoned, alternate-history, brit-lit, defying-gender-roles, dnf, fantasy, steampunk, ya

I stopped reading Goliath just past halfway through, because it wasn’t thrilling me and another book was calling, a supposedly spooky story, perfect for a rainy Friday evening coming up on Halloween. It’s not unusual for me to read two books at once, but that’s a print-vs-Kindle thing, and an insomnia thing.

Yes, I’m off on one of my digressions, which are part of my reviews because bits of regular life mix inextricably with the books I read because books are such an integral part of my life — but this digression might be useful. I suffer from what may be the worst case of insomnia ever; we’re talking sometimes as little as ten minutes of sleep a night, for years now. Talk about fried. I tried a no-screen rule–no phone, no Kindle, no television, no computer–within an hour of going to bed. It hasn’t cured me, but it’s made a noticeable difference. I like my Kindle because it’s compact and lightweight for lugging around the entire Puget Sound area as I go about my day, and I only read print books before bed, so – two books at once, quite often. I’m sure you’re thrilled to know my reading mechanics, but if you have sleep issues, perhaps the no-screen deal can help you.

Anyway. Both books were print, so that wasn’t it. Goliath just wasn’t holding me. I loved Leviathan, and Behemoth was decent, but this third installment was proving ho-hum. I am annoyed at feeling roped into reading yet another trilogy that could have been tightened up into one really excellent book. Stop the trilogy craze already.

Keith Thompson’s illustrations are still wonderful, but I loved Leviathan‘s cover the most, pure steampunk with no people.

So, wanting a Halloween -y spooky story that would make me sleep with the light on (it’s the weekend) I turned to In a Dark, Dark Wood. Hmm. It’s like And Then There Were None meets Basic Instinct, only everybody’s 12. So many times I wanted to slap them all.

This book promised to scare the crap out of me, and it utterly failed. It was okay, an entertaining enough thriller-mystery without a whole lot of either thrill or mystery. There are plenty of plot holes, the characters are rather cardboard (and I don’t mind an unlikable/unreliable narrator as long as it’s not Mary Sue, so we’re okay here), and some premises are not quite believable. Still, it drew me in enough to finish it, and the writing is competent enough.

I do think Gillian Flynn should get royalties every time a new book is touted as the next Gone Girl, because that’s a tough act to follow.

Love the cover.

I learned something new when I read the range-keeper ‘s statement about getting a lot of trouble with hen parties, and I was thinking, what? Since when? Google gave me several ads for it, all in the UK. My American brain is having trouble processing clay shooting as a bachelorette party thing, in a country without the stupid random gun violence. You Brits do stuff right.

New words: sat nav. I’ve always just called it GPS. Sat nav sounds cooler, like you’re actually in a cockpit. More Brits doing stuff right.

So then I went back to Goliath, thinking I’d finish it, but instead I diddled around reading some of the reviews, wondering if it was only me who found this third installment so lackadaisical, and saw someone mention that the perspicacious lorises don’t really figure in the grand scheme. Say what? I love the perspicacious lorises! They should matter, dammit.

*wanders off to read Philippa Gregory on Kindle and Gay Talese in print*

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Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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